In 2016, the American Bible Society celebrated its bicentennial—200 years of distributing Bibles around the world. Throughout its history, the organization has been committed to give away Bibles without notes or commentary, in the belief that anyone can read the Bible for themselves.
God’s Word is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God. Metaphorically, this armor equips us for spiritual warfare (vv. 10 13). Each piece of the armor, including God’s Word, helps us stand against “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The goal is to stand firm—the final victory already belongs to Christ.
Paul’s metaphor is quite colorful and vivid (vv. 14–17). Truth is a “belt” that holds together all the rest. Righteousness is a protective “breastplate” (see Isa. 59:17) and salvation is a protective “helmet.” The soldier’s shoes or boots are a readiness to stand on and proclaim the gospel of peace (Rom. 5:1). Faith is a “shield” that extinguishes the “flaming arrows” of Satan (see also 1 Peter 1:5). Finally, there is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (see also Rev. 1:16).
When we put on our spiritual armor and go forth to battle, we are imitating and accompanied by God Himself. He is pictured as a Divine Warrior a number of times in Scripture, such as in Isaiah 42:13: “The LORD will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.”
What does it mean to “put on” this armor? Note that we don’t manufacture any of it—it’s all from God. He helps us choose to make it part of our spiritual lives. Putting it on, then, involves making choices, forming habits, and cultivating virtues.
>> Jesus Himself used Scripture to resist when tempted by the devil (Matt. 4:1–11). We, too, should use God’s Word as the “sword of the Spirit,” an effective strategy in our fight against temptation.
Father, as we study Your Word, please cause it to reach our minds and souls; please help us to internalize what is true, pure, and commendable. We want Your Word to influence how we live, think, and speak.